The results from my research have been successful in both the zone clearing of bacteria along with UV radiation testing for all samples created. My work focused on the creation of natural samples with butters, essential oils, and powders with a focus on MCT oil and coconut oil. The results so far have shown that different oils including: cinnamon cassia, bergamot, catnip, lemongrass, olive oil, and carrot seed oil proved to be the most effective in zone clearing at greater than 4.4 cm. Zone clearing in this case is the part on a petri dish where no growth of bacteria reached the sample placed in the dish. This shows the zone of inhibition where the sample proved to be effective against the bacteria. The results that I was initially looking for was anything greater than 1.2 cm, with that number being considered good. So, my results for a few of the samples showed to be very promising. From the results that were proven to be effective I decided to incorporate the MCT oil and or coconut oil to see if there would be any correlation in enhancing the zone clearing of bacteria. However, the results so far are still pending and until I receive the results my research is at a pause. My hypothesis though is that the zone clearing will be enhanced since more fatty acid chains will be supplied and provide more bonding to enhance the zone clearing of bacteria. The UV radiation testing was successful from the 45 samples created, and about half of them were effective in producing a 7-9 rating. The lowest possible rating was a 1, while a 10 was considered to be the most effective. Most of the results that had a high zone clearing were also effective against UV radiation, however there were a few of the samples that were low which is where I needed to think of a way to enhance these results. After the addition of the MCT oil in these effective samples the numbers went from 2-4 to 7-9.
The problems at hand were to see different combinations of shea butter with different essential oils and powders, because of the antimicrobial properties found inside them. Taking the research done from previous students who worked with my mentor, the essential oils that were proven to be effective were the ones that I incorporated into my research. These oils were the ones that provided the largest zone clearing which are provided above, except for catnip. The collaboration with my mentor helped tremendously with a few of the problems at hand beginning with the low UV radiation numbers for the effective zone clearing samples. After recreating the samples that were found to be most effective and inserting the MCT oil the UV effectiveness increased for all samples. MCT oil alone with the shea butter did not have an effect on radiation, but after inserted into the samples the reaction caused there to be an increase in UV protection. My research results so far would not be where they are if I did not have the guidance of my mentor. Communication was key for the experimentation part of the research, and I cannot thank Dr. Rizzo enough for allowing me to do this project. The challenges found within this project though included waiting some time to receive the MCT oil, so that pushed my results after incorporating the MCT oil into the samples to be received later. However, I have learned so much on how interactions with certain oils and powders will react differently with the shea butter base. Also, this research pertains to my future career with wanting to go into the cosmetic science field and focusing on natural ingredients to fight against different skin bacteria’s. The knowledge I have gained while working in the laboratory has been promising for my future, and again thank you Dr. Rizzo for all of your incite on this project and for my future overall.